On the southern fringes of the New Forest, Sway may be a little village, but it has a thriving, vibrant community.
Home to a flourishing high street lined with a good selection of shops, including a well-stocked convenience store, butchers, deli, chemist and post office, you can pick up all of your essential holiday provisions in Sway. Supermarkets and high street shops can be found in nearby New Milton and Lymington, both just a quick dash in the car.
You don’t have to travel far from your holiday cottage in Sway for a delicious meal as the village is home to two popular pubs and a restaurant. The Silver Hind consistently wins rave reviews for its tasty, locally sourced menu, and welcomes the whole family – including dogs and horses! For traditional pub grub and daily specials, head to The Hare and Hounds, a 200 year old coaching inn with a spacious beer garden and great children’s play area.
For a small village, there’s lots to see and do in Sway. Get active with a game of tennis, football or cricket at the Jubilee Sports Ground, or discover the New Forest on horseback at nearby Flanders Riding Centre. For a culture hit, visit ArtSway, a gallery and arts centre hosting local and international exhibitions and a range of workshops. Surrounded by ancient woodland and rolling countryside crisscrossed with tracks and trails, Sway is a haven for walkers and cyclists, so don’t forget to pack your trainers. Sway also has an action-packed events calendar, the highlight being the annual Sway Carnival when crowds of people gather along the bunting clad streets to watch the flamboyant carnival procession pass.
This vibrant little village is best known for the Sway Tower, a 200ft tall Grade II listed tower that can be seen from much of the New Forest. Built by a wealthy local landowner, the looming tower is thought to be the world’s tallest unreinforced concrete structure.
Sway has its own train station and is on the main London Waterloo to Weymouth line, with regular trains to the popular seaside resorts of Bournemouth and Southampton.
Only four miles away from the lively port town of Lymington and the Solent coast, a holiday cottage in Sway makes an ideal base to explore both the sparkling south coast and the majestic New Forest.
There are few ways as magic as horse riding to explore the Hampshire countryside, and Flanders Farm Riding Centre offers lessons and livery to those in the area, but in particular caters to children over the age of four, with a children’s club available on Saturday afternoons which proves particularly popular.
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A carp fishery set in 11 acres with seven individual spring fed lakes, Course Fishing at Hordle Lakes is a chance for all ages and abilities to enjoy a day of fishing. With plenty of parking a short walk from the activity, fish for Bream, Tench, Perch, Rudd, Chub and Roach with huge bags being taken all year round.
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In a selfie culture who wouldn’t be interested in a New Forest Photo Trek? Treks designed around their photo taking opportunity, this is a unique opportunity to explore the New Forest with your family album in mind. Teaching you photographic composition, abstract, landscape, close up, exposure compensation, depth of field, as well as camera technique while you go on a gentle wander through the New Forest, it’s a chance to learn a skill and understand the area at the same time.
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An 18-hole golf course in the village of Brockenhurst, surrounded by the New Forest National Park, Brockenhurst Golf Club is blessed with an abundance of wildlife and beautiful landscapes. Designed by Harry Colt, it is within easy reach of Southampton and Bournemouth, has a welcomeing bar and restaurant, is ideal for families, and green fees start at £40.
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A patchwork of ancient woodland brimming with pastures, ponds, heaths and the Lymington River, Roydon Wood Wildlife Reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife and from flora and fauna to tawny owls. The Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust manage the nature reserves and its ideal territory for walking with the dog and enjoying this beautiful environment.
Absolutely great for peaceful walking.
Located in the heart of Sway, this impressive Edwardian mansion is home to a lovely restaurant serving local, seasonal dishes. The restaurant has been refurbished with style and attention to period detail, and there's a pretty, spacious garden where you can dine al fresco during sunnier months. The Manor serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as cream teas, cakes and an impressive afternoon tea. As well as a great selection of beers, wines and soft drink, The Manor also serves a classic cocktail menu, perfect for summer sundowners and after-dinner treats. Open for lunch Wednesday - Sunday from 12.30 - 14.30 and dinner Monday - Sunday 18.30 - 21.00. Reservations essential for Afternoon Tea, served Wedsnesday - Sunday from 15.00 - 16.30.
The Manor at Sway, Sway, Nr Lymington, SO41 6BA (T: 01590 682754)
A friendly village pub in the centre of the pretty New Forest village of Sway, welcoming families, dogs and even horses! The spacious bar area has plenty of room, as well as outdoor seating so you can sit out and enjoy the sun with a refreshing drink.
The Silver Hind (T: 01590 683900) Sway SO41 6BA
We had dinner here twice and it was great. Dog and child friendly.
Didn't use as it didn't do food
A spacious 200-year-old coaching Inn with crackling open fire during the cooler months and spacious beer garden in the warmer weather. This is a family run pub with friendly staff serving a selection of cask ales, beers and decent wine list. The main menu is familiar pub fare, but diners will love the specials board echoing what’s local and in season. Check out their event nights. Dogs are welcome.
Hare and Hounds (T: 01590 682404) Durnstown, Sway, Lymington SO41 6AL
Had dinner here on the Friday evening, having pre-booked a table. Menu was appealing and extensive and the quality of the food generally excellent I for both quality (although the steak selected by one of us was reported to be 'gristly' and quantity. Service was efficient on what was clearly a busy evening for them.
Had a wonderful Sunday lunch at Hare and Hounds, could not recommend it more highly, staff very welcoming and very cosy furnishings..
Always good value food, service and atmosphere
Sunday lunch was fantastic, now we know why people were waiting outside for it to open!
Fantastic! Traditional New Forest pub that's always busy and always friendly and welcoming. Sunday lunches are amazing and such good value. Usually lots of vegetarian choices too. Also dog-friendly in the main part of the pub though not the restaurant, but the food is the same. Been visiting regularly on holiday for about 20 years and never fails to please!
A welcoming village pub with large garden and children's play area, serving a good selection of home-cooked pub food including a dedicated pizza menu and childrens options. Quiz nights on Wednesdays and traditional Sunday Roasts pull in a crowd.
The Plough (T: 01425 610185) Tiptoe SO41 6FQ
Frequented this establishment more than others. Good service and good down to earth menu available. Good vegetarian options available. Also love the breakfasts offered. Far better then any other establishments attended in the area.
A smart and stylish riverside restaurant surrounded by beautiful ‘Art Gardens’ full of stunning flowers, sculptures and art exhibits. Take a stroll through the gardens then sit down and enjoy a menu brimming with beautifully presented seasonal local produce, along with dedicated gluten free, vegetarian and children’s menus.
Gordleton Mill (T: 01590 682219) Lymington SO41 6DJ
Really nice place, gardens are good fun with the kids and something different that's free... meal was really nice, servers really friendly, although we did have to chase a couple of things, thoroughly enjoyable lunch
A stony beach with sandy areas as the tide goes out, and a great spot to do some fossil hunting. The cliffs are subject to considerable coastal erosion and at times parts of the beach can be cordoned off. The Beachcomber Café on the cliff top is one of the most popular cafés in the region. Plenty of parking in car parks along the cliff top as well as on-road parking.
Super walk, nice and easy and great place for a meal or tea and cake by the car park.
A beautiful shingle beach with pretty painted beach huts, plenty of parking, and excellent coastal walks along Hurst spit to Hurst Castle with clear views of the Isle of Wight and needles. The superb Raft Rocks Restaurant is worth a visit with its Art deco style and roof terrace. You can also walk across the wildlife marshes to Keyhaven harbour and (in season) take the boat to Hurst Castle or the Isle of Wight.
Lovely village, plenty of shops and places to eat - no post office though.
Fantastic sea location with goods pubs, shops etc
Great for a dog walk along the spit to Hurst Castle. Needles Eye cafe is a welcome break, quite good food but very busy and a bit basic.
great walking area, small cafe-the needles, children climbing play park- crashing waves over stoned beach
Love Milford on Sea so old fashioned hasn't changed much since I use go as a child in the 1960/70s
A picturesque, tree-lined beach of shingle, and sand at low tide. Good facilities on the cliff top including an excellent tea room, award winning public toilets, baby change and a children’s play area in the Castle gardens. Plenty of parking, but there is no disabled access and quite a few steps to get down to the beach. Lifeguard cover from July to Sept. No dogs allowed.
Lovely clean sandy beach and a really i would highly recommend this spot for your car to break down takes the ouch out of waiting for the recovery truck
This is one of the most scenic of New Forest beaches. Lined with some of the most picturesque and expensive beach huts in the country! There’s no parking next to the beach, as it’s a traffic-free zone, but there’s pay and display parking at Hengistbury Head from where you can catch a little train to the sandbank, and Mudeford Quay which runs a small ferry (5 mins) over to the sandbank. Can also be reached on foot and by bicycle.
Beautiful place, our favourite beach in south of England. It feels like an island, when you go over on the ferry and at times (off-season!) on sunny days it can feel like a little piece of Heaven, it's so peaceful and beautiful- bit of a sense of New England. There's a super little 'restaurant', the Beach Hut, which does great breakfasts, meals all day and some evenings. Also takeaway eg pizzas, you can eat on the beach. Very simple surroundings, with a sheltered veranda that can be uncovered in fine weather, and amazing views. Quite pricey and often very busy (and you are best to ring and check opening times and book since often weather and ferry-dependant) but the quality of the food and those stunning views make it more than worthwhile!